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Japanese UX design firm Goodpatch raises $3.6M in series C to better serve FinTech businesses

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See the original story in Japanese. Japanese UX/UI design agency Goodpatch, based out of Tokyo, Berlin and Taiwan, revealed on Wednesday that they have raised 400 million yen (about $3.6M US) from SBI Investment (through SBI FinTech Fund) and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Capital in a series C round. This is the third round of funding for the company following $1 million (series A round) raised in December of 2013 and $3.5 million (series B round) raised in February of 2016. In addition to receiving the funds from SBI Investment, Goodpatch announced along with the funds raised this round that they are undertaking of a project to improve the UX/UI design of SBI Investment’s SBI Securities. From this month, Goodpatch launched an in house UX/UI design team specialized in the area of FinTech, and they are planning to open a lab to dispatch and share useful design and development knowhow to both the FinTech and design industries in the future. Goodpatch’s UX/UI portfolio in the FinTech world includes Money Forward’s public release in May of 2014, MYDC’s public release in January of 2017, and the public release of Quick’s Shinkly in 2017 (only those that are disclosed). Goodpatch was founded in…

See the original story in Japanese.

Japanese UX/UI design agency Goodpatch, based out of Tokyo, Berlin and Taiwan, revealed on Wednesday that they have raised 400 million yen (about $3.6M US) from SBI Investment (through SBI FinTech Fund) and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Capital in a series C round. This is the third round of funding for the company following $1 million (series A round) raised in December of 2013 and $3.5 million (series B round) raised in February of 2016.

In addition to receiving the funds from SBI Investment, Goodpatch announced along with the funds raised this round that they are undertaking of a project to improve the UX/UI design of SBI Investment’s SBI Securities. From this month, Goodpatch launched an in house UX/UI design team specialized in the area of FinTech, and they are planning to open a lab to dispatch and share useful design and development knowhow to both the FinTech and design industries in the future.

Goodpatch’s UX/UI portfolio in the FinTech world includes Money Forward’s public release in May of 2014, MYDC’s public release in January of 2017, and the public release of Quick’s Shinkly in 2017 (only those that are disclosed).

Goodpatch was founded in August of 2011. Prior to the company, CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya worked as an intern at San Francisco’s digital agency Btrax, and founded Goodpatch after returning home to Japan. The company’s name comes from the incubation space Dogpatch Labs in San Francisco. Their prototyping tool Prott, which was officially launched in October of 2014, has been introduced in major IT companies, startups, design farms, and so on.

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Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda

Japan’s Goodpatch snags $3.5M to increase global sales of online prototyping tool

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This is the abridged version from our original article in Japanese. We’ve recently heard many stories making us think about the future form of a design firm. Japanese ad agency Hakuhodo DY Holdings (TSE: 2433) recently took a 30% stake in Ideo, a world-renowned Silicon Valley-based design consulting firm while Japanese video ad network provider Open8 recently acquired The Clip, a Tokyo-based design production startup. See also: 3 Japanese internet companies to launch mobile video ad network targeting females Tokyo-based user experience and interface (UX/UI) design agency Goodpatch announced today that it has fundraised 400 million yen (about $3.5 million) from DG Incubation, Salesforce Ventures, SMBC Venture Capital, SBI Investment, and FiNC. DG Incubation is the investment arm of Japanese internet service giant Digital Garage (TSE:4819) while FiNC is a notable weight-loss advisory startup based in Tokyo. For Goodpatch, this follows their previous $1 million funding from DG Incubation back in December of 2013. After the previous funding, the company launched cloud-based prototyping tool Prott. While the company has about 80 staffers in Tokyo and Berlin with about 20 people out of these being involved in developing the Prott platform. The company claims that the platform has acquired 55,000 users…

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This is the abridged version from our original article in Japanese.

We’ve recently heard many stories making us think about the future form of a design firm. Japanese ad agency Hakuhodo DY Holdings (TSE: 2433) recently took a 30% stake in Ideo, a world-renowned Silicon Valley-based design consulting firm while Japanese video ad network provider Open8 recently acquired The Clip, a Tokyo-based design production startup.

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Tokyo-based user experience and interface (UX/UI) design agency Goodpatch announced today that it has fundraised 400 million yen (about $3.5 million) from DG Incubation, Salesforce Ventures, SMBC Venture Capital, SBI Investment, and FiNC. DG Incubation is the investment arm of Japanese internet service giant Digital Garage (TSE:4819) while FiNC is a notable weight-loss advisory startup based in Tokyo.

For Goodpatch, this follows their previous $1 million funding from DG Incubation back in December of 2013. After the previous funding, the company launched cloud-based prototyping tool Prott. While the company has about 80 staffers in Tokyo and Berlin with about 20 people out of these being involved in developing the Prott platform. The company claims that the platform has acquired 55,000 users to date, which though not yet profitable has sales on the increase because more freemium users are being converted to paying users.

Goodpatch founder and CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya says that the funds will be primarily used to further develop the Prott platform, as well as to establish sales offices in Taiwan and North America. In terms of competing globally, it means that Goodpatch will be forced to compete other players like InVision.

We will be tackling the market with a different focus from other prototyping tools. By adding features allowing users to grasp the structure of a prototyping object as well as exporting to UI design and product specification documents, we will make our platform easier integrated with tasks before and after the prototyping.

In addition to Prott, Goodpatch launched a mobile condo/apartment finder app called Talkie last year in association with At Home, a Japanese property information company. In this round, Goodpatch fundraised from two financial companies and a healthcare startup since they expect to explore synergies in the fintech and healthcare sectors respectively.

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Goodpatch founder and CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Japanese UX firm Goodpatch expands to Berlin, hoping to import more diversity in designs

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This is the abridged version from our original article in Japanese. Tokyo-based user experience and interface (UX/UI) design agency Goodpatch announced today that it will launch the first overseas office in Berlin, called Goodpatch Berlin. The company’s executive officer Boris Friedrich Milkowski will be appointed as head for the new office. Goodpatch is well known for having served notable Japanese mobile apps such as news app Gunosy and accounting app Money Forward in improving user experience. The company launched a prototyping tool called Prott last year. See also: Japanese UX design firm Goodpatch raises $1M from Digital Garage Tokyo Office Tour: At new office, Goodpatch preparing official launch of prototyping tool Germany has a profound history of design as represented by the Bauhaus. Goodpatch selected Berlin as the location for its first overseas office because the city has a high profile as a global startup hub. Compared to UK or France, Berlin is easier to live in because of cheaper house rent and living expenses. So many people from all around Europe have moved into Berlin upon expanding their business to different markets in the entire region. Goodpatch CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya loves the UI designs of web services born out of…

goodpatch-berlin_featuredimage

This is the abridged version from our original article in Japanese.

Tokyo-based user experience and interface (UX/UI) design agency Goodpatch announced today that it will launch the first overseas office in Berlin, called Goodpatch Berlin. The company’s executive officer Boris Friedrich Milkowski will be appointed as head for the new office.

Goodpatch is well known for having served notable Japanese mobile apps such as news app Gunosy and accounting app Money Forward in improving user experience. The company launched a prototyping tool called Prott last year.

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Germany has a profound history of design as represented by the Bauhaus. Goodpatch selected Berlin as the location for its first overseas office because the city has a high profile as a global startup hub. Compared to UK or France, Berlin is easier to live in because of cheaper house rent and living expenses. So many people from all around Europe have moved into Berlin upon expanding their business to different markets in the entire region.

Goodpatch CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya loves the UI designs of web services born out of Germany, and he has written about many of them on his company’s bilingual blog called Memopatch. Boris found Tsuchiya’s article on the blog and applied to join the team while he was attending Keio Media Design (KMD), the graduate school of media design at Keio University.

Tsuchiya told The Bridge why they have chosen Berlin:

We have been eager to open our overseas office. Initially we were thinking of San Francisco, but the city is already a trending spot, meaning it is not so high priority.

Then Boris graduated from KMD last year and started working with us on a full-time basis. In charge of global marketing of Prott, he had been holding our workshops in Europe and San Francisco. While he is from Munich, we decided to set up an office in Berlin because the city is more interesting.

Goodpatch plans to rotate their employees between the Tokyo headquarters and the Berlin office, aiming to let them experience more diversity and inspiration in designs. Going forward, the company wants to help Japanese companies expand their business to the European market.

Goodpatch shares its Berlin office with Mimi, the Berlin-based startup developing an app for the hearing impaired. The address is Neue Schönhauser Straße 19, 10178 Berlin.

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From the right: Goodpatch CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya, Head-designate for Goodpatch Berlin Boris Friedrich Milkowski

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy

Japanese prototyping tool Prott adds Apple Watch app development support

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See the original story in Japanese. Tokyo-based Goodpatch, a startup that specializes in developing UX/UI improvement solutions, announced today that its prototyping tool Prott now supports app development for the Apple Watch. The platform is available for iOS, desktop (Mac OS and Windows OS) as well as on the web, and it is also integrated with internal communication tools such as Slack and Hipchat, which allows the sharing of updates on prototyping using the Prott app in an engineering team. See also: Japan’s Goodpatch officially launches rapid prototyping tool Prott Prott was launched in beta version in April and an official version was launched in October. Prott has been adding supporting mobile platforms such as iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5, iPad, and Android. While Apple Watch will start shipping next year, WatchKit, a toolkit for coding and testing apps for the upcoming smartwatch, has been introduced for developers. Goodpatch founder and CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya spoke on Prott and Apple Watch app development support: There will be many Apple Watch apps being developed next year. For most developers, it will be the first time to develop an app for a smart watch, so prototyping while developing apps makes them more helpful. We…

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See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Goodpatch, a startup that specializes in developing UX/UI improvement solutions, announced today that its prototyping tool Prott now supports app development for the Apple Watch. The platform is available for iOS, desktop (Mac OS and Windows OS) as well as on the web, and it is also integrated with internal communication tools such as Slack and Hipchat, which allows the sharing of updates on prototyping using the Prott app in an engineering team.

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Prott was launched in beta version in April and an official version was launched in October. Prott has been adding supporting mobile platforms such as iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5, iPad, and Android. While Apple Watch will start shipping next year, WatchKit, a toolkit for coding and testing apps for the upcoming smartwatch, has been introduced for developers.

Goodpatch founder and CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya spoke on Prott and Apple Watch app development support:

There will be many Apple Watch apps being developed next year. For most developers, it will be the first time to develop an app for a smart watch, so prototyping while developing apps makes them more helpful.

We will keep up with latest various smart devices. The platform will have some hidden functions. So please have fun finding them.

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Japan’s Goodpatch officially launches rapid prototyping tool Prott

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See the original story in Japanese. Japan’s Goodpatch has been providing rapid prototyping tool Prott in beta since April, but it was officially launched on Wednesday. Coinciding with this, they introduced an iOS app for prototyping as well as existing web apps for Macintosh and Windows. This newly introduced version is integrated with internal communication tools such as Slack and Hipchat, which allows the sharing of updates on prototyping using the Prott app in an engineering team. Goodpatch also announced that the Prott app has been adopted by global design consulting firm Ideo, Yahoo Japan, DeNA for their internal app development. See also: Tokyo Office Tour: At new office, Goodpatch preparing official launch of prototyping tool Upon the official launch, Goodpatch also unveiled pricing plans for Prott. The price is determined by the number of prototyping projects a user has developed using the platform; one project is free, three projects cost $14 yen a month (Starter plan), unlimited projects costs $25 yen a month (Pro plan), and $99 yen a month (Team plan). According to Goodpatch founder and CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya, Prott has acquired about 7,000 users in about eight months since the launch of its beta version. Taiwan-based Pop,…

prott_featuredimage

See the original story in Japanese.

Japan’s Goodpatch has been providing rapid prototyping tool Prott in beta since April, but it was officially launched on Wednesday. Coinciding with this, they introduced an iOS app for prototyping as well as existing web apps for Macintosh and Windows. This newly introduced version is integrated with internal communication tools such as Slack and Hipchat, which allows the sharing of updates on prototyping using the Prott app in an engineering team.

Goodpatch also announced that the Prott app has been adopted by global design consulting firm Ideo, Yahoo Japan, DeNA for their internal app development.

See also:

Upon the official launch, Goodpatch also unveiled pricing plans for Prott. The price is determined by the number of prototyping projects a user has developed using the platform; one project is free, three projects cost $14 yen a month (Starter plan), unlimited projects costs $25 yen a month (Pro plan), and $99 yen a month (Team plan).

Prott iOS app
Prott iOS app

According to Goodpatch founder and CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya, Prott has acquired about 7,000 users in about eight months since the launch of its beta version. Taiwan-based Pop, a competitor, has acquired about 300,000 users in two years since its launch in late 2012. Prott’s figure shows a good start because Goodpatch has not done any promotion.

In the global trends in this space, US-based popular prototyping tool Invision has fundraised about $35 million in total, as well as Axure, US-based wireframe tool for enterprise users, is generating about $200 million annual revenue, so there is huge potential in this market.

Tsuchiya explained the Prott app advantages:

Anyone can start using Prott without preliminary knowledge, which is obviously our strength. Users tell us they love Prott because they can start prototyping in a few seconds after using the app for the first time.

Tsuchiya outlined his growth strategy:

We can develop more services beyond the prototyping tool. But we are not interested in integrating Prott with other crowdsourced platforms because crowdsourcing may cause decreased wages for skilled designers. Nevertheless we may create an online community that matches idea owners with developers because the Prott app allows idea owners to present their ideas about an app regardless of whether they have any engineering skills or not. App developers can leverage outcomes from the platform to hire new people by presenting images of services they want to create.

Goodpatch sets UX/UI design as their core competence and aims to launch more services in this space. With loyal support from the startup and app developer community, the company is aiming for an IPO in the near future.

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Goodpatch founder and CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya

Tokyo Office Tour: At new office, Goodpatch preparing official launch of prototyping tool

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See the original story in Japanese. Japanese UX design firm Goodpatch fundraised 100 million yen (or about $1 million) from DG Incubation, the investment arm of Digital Garage (TSE:4819) in December 2013. Back then the firm was in Akihabara, but two months ago they moved to Shibuya, a major startup hub in Tokyo. Upon visiting the new Goodpatch office, this reporter met a familiar person in addition to the CEO, Naofumi Tsuchiya. It was Boris Friedrich Milkowski, a German who had studied at Keio Media Design (KMD). When he was attending the university, I had been requested by him to join a group focus interview where I offered him my insights about the UI/UX trends for Japanese apps as well as about local startups in Tokyo. He subsequently joined the Goodpatch team for business development to help accelerate the company’s global market expansion. Goodpatch launched rapid prototyping tool Prott as a “closed beta” in March, and their team is finalizing the release of its official version and its iOS app, scheduled to go live soon. CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya aims to disrupt the industry with the Prott app: Prototyping is not so common in Japan, but overseas, many developers typically prototype…

See the original story in Japanese.

Japanese UX design firm Goodpatch fundraised 100 million yen (or about $1 million) from DG Incubation, the investment arm of Digital Garage (TSE:4819) in December 2013. Back then the firm was in Akihabara, but two months ago they moved to Shibuya, a major startup hub in Tokyo.

Upon visiting the new Goodpatch office, this reporter met a familiar person in addition to the CEO, Naofumi Tsuchiya. It was Boris Friedrich Milkowski, a German who had studied at Keio Media Design (KMD). When he was attending the university, I had been requested by him to join a group focus interview where I offered him my insights about the UI/UX trends for Japanese apps as well as about local startups in Tokyo. He subsequently joined the Goodpatch team for business development to help accelerate the company’s global market expansion.

Goodpatch launched rapid prototyping tool Prott as a “closed beta” in March, and their team is finalizing the release of its official version and its iOS app, scheduled to go live soon. CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya aims to disrupt the industry with the Prott app:

Prototyping is not so common in Japan, but overseas, many developers typically prototype prior to app development commencement. We want to educate the Japanese app development industry about the need for prototyping in association with other companies in this sector.

A prototyping tool allows planners or designers to create a mock-up instantly even if they are less familiar with coding.

Existing design tools have many functions but less usability for mobile app designs. By adding various functions such as “drawing function” to Prott, we can bite into user bases held by other software, such as Adobe Photoshop.

The drawing function he mentioned will be supported in the future version of the Prott app. In addition, they are considering supporting other features like those enabling export of a prototype that has been created outside the prototyping tool.

Because the Protto app has been developed in Japan, it obviously supports the Japanese language. But 70% of users are overseas. We are keen to see how their global release and expansion efforts go.

Goodpatch aims to create a comfortable working environment similar to that of startups in Silicon Valley. The company spent a lot on relocation and interior design, but Tsuchiya says the investment will be worthwhile if it can attract talented people.

An unconfirmed report has it that the Tokyo event of Finland’s annual startup conference Slush will take place at the Goodpatch office on October 3rd. The 2013 event took place at Open Network Lab. By helping organize such events, Goodpatch can contribute to the local startup community in Tokyo and bring in a lot of international perspectives and entrepreneurial spirit.

Goodpatch consists of a 32-person team, of which seven are developing the Prott app. Another prototyping tool Pop, which came from Silicon Valley and Taiwan, recently announced their full-fledged entry into the Japanese market, which indicates this space is heating up. To expand Prott and other UI/UX-focused projects, Goodpatch is hiring, so those interested in working there are advised to immediately contact the firm.

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At the entrance.
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Many flowers from startup folks celebrating Goodpatch’s new office.
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Rilakkuma is always seated on the best position.
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A standing desk is good for people like me who have a sore back.
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A comfortable meeting room overflowing an opening feeling.
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We see pingpong tables at many startup offices these days.
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If you visit this corner, you may feel like as if you’ve visited a stylish bar.

Japan’s Goodpatch launches rapid prototyping tool in closed beta

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See the original story in Japanese. Our readers may recall Tokyo-based web design firm Goodpatch raised funds from Digital Garage this past December. More recently the company announced a new prototyping tool in closed beta. It’s called Prott. The tool is focused on helping developers create mobile apps based on rapid prototyping methods. We’ve already seen similar tools like Invision or Flinto, but there are very few players in this space in Japan. Coinciding with this beta version, the company has unveiled a new design for its homepage, including a promo video of the prototyping tool (see below). The company also plans to launch an iOS app for the tool this month. For their closed beta period, members of their Facebook beta testers group are preferentially invited.

prott

See the original story in Japanese.

Our readers may recall Tokyo-based web design firm Goodpatch raised funds from Digital Garage this past December. More recently the company announced a new prototyping tool in closed beta. It’s called Prott.

The tool is focused on helping developers create mobile apps based on rapid prototyping methods. We’ve already seen similar tools like Invision or Flinto, but there are very few players in this space in Japan.

Coinciding with this beta version, the company has unveiled a new design for its homepage, including a promo video of the prototyping tool (see below).

The company also plans to launch an iOS app for the tool this month. For their closed beta period, members of their Facebook beta testers group are preferentially invited.

Japanese UX design firm Goodpatch raises $1M from Digital Garage

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See the original story in Japanese. Goodpatch is a Tokyo-based startup focused on giving web companies a better user experience and user interface for their projects [1]. The company announced today that it has raised $100 million yen (approximately $1 million) from DG Incubation, the investment arm of Digital Garage (TSE:4819). The startup was launched back in August of 2011, and is known for its role in designing the slick Japanese news curation app Gunosy. Since investments in startups are usually made based on the scalability of their business, it is curious why a startup like this that has no product would receive funds. We spoke with the company’s co-founder and CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya to hear a little more about what’s behind this funding. The Bridge: What was the purpose of this funding? Isn’t it hard for companies like yours with no scalable product to do so? Tsuchiya: We faced tough times in the beginning, but your colleague Eguchi-san previously posted an article and it made many people aware of the fact that we designed Gunosy. Then we gradually started receiving more offers for work, far more than we could do. Our business became profitable, but we needed to pay…

goodpatch-sign

See the original story in Japanese.

Goodpatch is a Tokyo-based startup focused on giving web companies a better user experience and user interface for their projects [1]. The company announced today that it has raised $100 million yen (approximately $1 million) from DG Incubation, the investment arm of Digital Garage (TSE:4819).

The startup was launched back in August of 2011, and is known for its role in designing the slick Japanese news curation app Gunosy. Since investments in startups are usually made based on the scalability of their business, it is curious why a startup like this that has no product would receive funds.

We spoke with the company’s co-founder and CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya to hear a little more about what’s behind this funding.

Goodpatch CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya
Goodpatch CEO Naofumi Tsuchiya

The Bridge: What was the purpose of this funding? Isn’t it hard for companies like yours with no scalable product to do so?

Tsuchiya: We faced tough times in the beginning, but your colleague Eguchi-san previously posted an article and it made many people aware of the fact that we designed Gunosy. Then we gradually started receiving more offers for work, far more than we could do. Our business became profitable, but we needed to pay a lot of tax. It will require more time than we expected to save money to launch our next business.

We first thought production companies like us would have no chance to receive investments. However, our advisor Kimiyuki Suda told us that there was potential for our company to get investment from Digital Garage.

Digital Garage was co-founded by Kaoru Hayashi and Joi Ito (the director of MIT Media Lab), and they became one of the greatest global internet companies, coming from a tiny web production. Since my team is looking to do more global business, they are one of the role models we should follow. That’s why we were keen to receive investments from Digital Garage. They are a business company, and have many ways to exit other than IPO and M&As. That’s different from typical investment firms.

The Bridge: What do you expect from this investment?

Tsuchiya: I have been managing the company alone, and I know I’ll reach my limit soon. I’m keen to get advice from the folks at Digital Garage through the partnership.

In addition, Digital Garage acquired a company called Neo back in November of last year, which specializes in giving UX consultation for enterprises and governments. They have many offices around the world. The partnership with Digital Garage will help us collaborate with that UX consultancy, and also help us keep our clients updated with the best of cutting-edge UX methods from San Francisco. For example, if we can send some of our employees to San Francisco every several months and give them a chance to learn the best UX methods, it will also help us hire good talent at our Tokyo office too.

What we do is not web or app production outsourced from our clients, but we get directly involved in making their products. If our client’s concept has no potential to make a reputation in the market, we would refuse their project offer.


Tsuchiya told us the company is now working on a new service focused on improving user interface and user experience design. It will be launched by the end of this year.

Prior to launching this company, he was working as an intern at Btrax, a digital agency based out of San Francisco. Coinciding with these funds, we heard message from Tsuchiya’s former boss Brandon Hill, complimenting the milestone of his old colleague:

It is my great pleasure to see the success of one of our interns. At the same time, I feel a bit funny that although Mr. Tsuchiya did not have the shiniest resume, he definitely has the makings of an entrepreneur – passion, courage, action, and determination.I truly admire him for recovering from a disastrous situation back in 2012. Just over a year ago, he lost his founders, staff, and customers. At that time, I had asked him what he was going to do. He just said “I won’t give up.” Now with over 30 employees, he’s in the process of creating a real business.

It is said that ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’, but I’ve been skeptical how much impacts a news site like ours can have on real businesses. So I was pleased to learn my colleague’s article made a bit of an impact on this startup during its rough time, helping them back on the road to success.

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Over two years passed since the launch, they are now an over 30-people team.
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A bunch of Ideas from employees for improving web designs for clients on the boards.

 


  1. The company’s name is derived from Dogpatch Labs, a well-known incubation space based out of San Francisco.